🤔 Who Am I?

Good Question! I'm a software developer in the UK primarily using Laravel.

I've been developing with web technologies for 6+ years, much longer non-professionally. Initially starting in marketing I now work at a UK based ed-tech on an apprenticeship management platform.

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TL;DR

Look out for this little tl;dr box on any of my articles. I know that everyone has busy lives and sometimes, you just want a quick summary. I’ll try to include a box like this at the top of any article summarising the key points.

🎓 Education

My education history is very exciting, other than proving that you don’t need a fancy degree or expensive tuition to get into a software development career. I completed my GCSEs in 2013, nothing ridiculous a mix of Cs, Bs and As. I later completed my A-Levels in 2015, achieving a range from D - A*s. Unsurprisingly the best subject was IT.

After completing my A-Levels I knew I wanted to go into a web development career. I was also thinking of going to university and studying game development. This is something I decided not to pursue but is a hobby of mine to dabble in some game development here and there.

In 2016 I completed an IT apprenticeship with a marketing agency near me, working as their in-house web developer.

Outside of formal education I’ve been self-teaching using website articles, YouTube and paid courses. In the early days of my Laravel journey I was also subscribed to Laracasts, the best source of Laravel knowledge for anyone, whether you’re new or experienced!

🧪 Side Projects

As with most developers I’m occasionally working on a side project here and there. Nothing really comes out of it for the public to see, but it offers some excellent learning opportunities.

Currently, I’m working on a couple different projects. One of the main ones being this website right here! I decided to start looking at really trying to write anything I find when experimenting or consuming other content. As a way to try and provide some documentation for my future self, but also to try and help me remember whatever it was I experimented with.

I have also been supporting my BulmaJS open source project. I don’t tend to use Bulma much these days so it’s primarily in a maintenance mode to help fix any bugs for people using it. However, it is “production” ready and has been used in some past projects.
In my spare time I’m also doing a small amount of freelance work for the marketing studio I worked at. Helping support the larger Laravel based projects they have, and also helping with the development of new Laravel projects.

Finally, I have some random ideas that are currently being planned out. Some of these ideas include; themes and plugins for Statamic – the CMS that powers this site –, RSSIFY – an attempt at creating a platform to provide a way to “process” RSS feeds for example removing podcast episodes that are less than 30 minutes.

💼 Career

After completing my apprenticeship back in 2016 I remained at the marketing agency for a number of years. During this time I grew my confidence, experience and improved my problem solving skills. I also gained experience in design and learnt some very useful tips on the fundamentals of design.

Working in marketing is great, you get to work with new and existing business, experiment with design trends and learn new things. It was at this time I picked up Laravel and started to use it for some of the larger, more complex projects.

I worked in marketing for almost four years before deciding I wanted to try something new. The biggest drawback with marketing, for me, is that it’s very fast-paced and while that in itself wasn’t a problem, the inability to spend time on features of a project meant that rather than learning new things I was mostly constrained to short deadlines. This meant I would always revert to techniques, methods and tools I already knew.

In 2019, I left marketing and joined a ed-tech software company. Working with Laravel it focuses on apprenticeship management software. I’ve now been working here for 2+ years. It was one of the best decision I made, not only do I now spend much more time working on a specific feature, allowing for new tools to be tested and techniques trialled, but I’ve also working within a team of other developers, previously I was on my own. Working with a team of other developers who are more experienced than me has been game changing in my career. I’m able to learn new things from them, while also, in some instances, teach them about my experiences from marketing or with Laravel.